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Iconic WWII aircraft coming to Tyler for Rose City Air Fest, Thunder Over Cedar Creek

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Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 3:43 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2022 at 9:27 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Visitors to two East Texas air shows will have a chance to get an up-close look at a piece of aviation history with the arrival of an iconic World War II plane: The B-29 Superfortress.

“It’s an aircraft that was put back together by love and volunteers from California, and Wichita had a love affair with this airplane and they spent 16 years over 450 thousand volunteer hours putting it back together,” said Josh Wells.

Wells is executive director of Doc’s Friends, the nonprofit which helps keep the aircraft flying. “Doc,” as this B-29 Superfortress is called, is one of 1,644 airplanes built by the Boeing company during World War II. It’s also only one of two in the world still currently flying.

“Every system, every cable, everything in the airplane had to be taken apart, inspected, rebuilt, reinstalled, and tested,” Wells said, noting that there wasn’t a dry eye on the ramp the day Doc took to the skies again for the first time in nearly 50 years.

“It was really a victory,” Wells said. “A victory for perseverance, a victory for our volunteers, and a victory for our team members who weren’t - you know we lost team members, team members that passed on over the sixteen year restoration project.”

Wells said their mission is to make sure future generations never forget the Greatest Generation, and that we continue to honor the brave men and women serving to protect our freedoms at home and abroad.

“Getting to go out and educate the next generation and talk about the science and the technology really is our mission, and that’s to connect people to the rich history of the B-29,” Wells says.

Doc will be coming to Tyler for the Rose City Air Fest and Thunder Over Cedar Creek June 30th through July 3rd. Proceeds enable the nonprofit, Doc’s Friends, to continue to keep the aircraft in the sky.

To learn more about the event and to purchase tickets, click on the big red box on kltv.com.

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